Giant Bomb Review

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Saints Row: The Third Review

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  • X360

Genkibowl VII is a bad deal on its own and a very disappointing update for Saints Row season pass holders.

There's something to be said for the idea of driving a rampaging ball of yarn, but it feels broken.

THQ and Volition have released a few, mostly cosmetic additions to the Saints Row: The Third since its release last year, but Genkibowl VII marks the first actual new gameplay that's been bolted onto the open world of Steelport. Unfortunately, there isn't much to it, so unless you're positively desperate for a few new side activities--most of which are light overhauls of activities that already appear in the main game--save your money.

As the name "Genkibowl" might imply, the activities found in this pack add to the legacy of the twisted Professor Genki, who runs the somewhat forgettable set of side-missions in the main game that have you running through a murderous game show, gunning down mascots until you earn enough cash to open up the exit. Two more of those missions appear in Genkibowl, albeit with a jungle-themed makeover that mostly just makes the exits harder to find. There are three more activities in this DLC pack, with two instances each. One is an altered version of the escort missions from the main game, except you're rolling around in a car armed with flamethrowers as you try to keep Professor Genki safe from harm and run people over to fill up a meter. Another takes the tank mayhem side-missions and replaces the tank with a large yarn ball that can fire off a few shockwaves. This almost gives it a Katamari Damacy sort of feel, but the control you have over the large yarn ball is kind of crappy. The ball feels like it's being crammed into the game against its will, and it seems to get hung up on corners and stuck in the environment a little too often.

The final activity is actually new, and it has you skydiving while wearing a panda suit that, for no good reason, lets you glide around without losing much altitude. This one has you doing a combination between bouncing on large balloons, flying through burning rings, and landing on the rooftops to cut up a few mascots with a chainsaw. The control is terrible. Once I got used to it, I completed both versions of the activity and took solace in the knowledge that I'd never need to do that ever again. And that's it. Eight activities, six of which lightly flip things that you already did in the main game. The best part about Saints Row: The Third is its sense of humor, and there's a bit of that here. The DLC opens and closes with some decent cutscenes, though a lot of that feeling comes from the way they expertly use the Monday Night Football theme (Johnny Pearson's "Heavy Action," not some sort of silly-ass country music). The ending cutscene has your character speak, and the ending speech is pretty funny, but he/she is wearing a panda costume that, much like the beginning of the main game, "distorts" the voice. This prevented the developers from having to record the end speech seven times to account for all the different voice options. That's pretty weak.

If you ended up with the Saints Row: The Third season pass, well, all you can do is grit your teeth and hope the next two packs are more inventive than this one. And sure, calling in a ball of yarn via the vehicle delivery function is pretty goofy, but it's not enough. THQ wants you to pay $7.00 for eight missions and a handful of mostly meaningless unlockables. That's just crazy.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
73 Comments
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Posted by SpartanAmbrose

Strap it on.

Posted by Freezer_Burn

About what I thought of it, hope the other two packs are more story oriented.

Online
Posted by MooseyMcMan

That's too bad.

Moderator
Posted by Yummylee

I thought the Skydiving thing was really fun (though it was a goddamn boner kill to find you can't fly around with the panda outfit outside of the activities), but otherwise I agree entirely with Jeff. Really empty, hollow, and too much of it is iterative of stuff from the main game.

Posted by cstrang

Hmm... Disappointed to hear this. I really enjoyed The Third vanilla and have been waiting for something to send me back into the game's arms. Hopefully the others will be better.

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

The Sad Panda Skyblazing activity was worth it to me,  though I enjoyed playing the other activities. I thought it controlled fine and even went back to try and get more achievements.

Posted by HaltIamReptar

That took some maneuvering to actually find this page

Posted by laserbolts

Nice review Jeff thanks for saving me 7 bucks.

Posted by Nightriff

Question is, is this the start of abusing the season pass?

Posted by SlightConfuse

SERC was one on my favorite activities. might wait for price drop.

Posted by TechHits

Damn I was going to jump on this, now I'm definitely gonna let it slide.

Posted by Elod

@HaltIamReptar said:

That took some maneuvering to actually find this page

Yea it's placement really isn't very obvious, I thought the link on the homepage was bad for a while, then tried the DLC sidebar, and finally spotted the link for this review.

Edited by chilibean_3

I'm glad you did this review, Jeff. This was my favorite game last year and I got the season pass. That may have been a bad idea.

Posted by AjayRaz

glad i bought SSFIV Arcade Edition instead! hopefully the next one will be better

Posted by DefAde

This just continues the tradition of absolutely terrible DLC for Saints Row across the entire franchise... that started with the Saints Row 1 multiplayer map pack that absolutely NOBODY bought.... and as such i never once managed to play a game on the 'new' map... 800 pts as may as well have thrown in the toilet... and it's been the same ever since with all their DLC

Posted by Lurkero

Sounds like they created the season pass and thought about what to do with it later. This is not comforting for the future of season pass.

Posted by Enigma777

Finished it last week and I'll have to agree. It's not that good. And you can tell they cut corners cause they distorted the chatacter's VO at the end so they didn't have to record all the diferent voices you can have.

Posted by slaymate

Too bad I had hopes for this, Thanks GB for watching out for me.

Edited by gringbot

I just have to be honest here:

WHO DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING?! THQ DLC is synonymous with the word disappointing.

also:

Strap it on.

Posted by nick_verissimo

Followed my intuition and didn't buy this and now I feel totally vindicated. Thanks Jeff!

Posted by cheywoodward2

@Elod said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

That took some maneuvering to actually find this page

Yea it's placement really isn't very obvious, I thought the link on the homepage was bad for a while, then tried the DLC sidebar, and finally spotted the link for this review.

I read about half of Alex's Saints Row III review first.

THIS SITE IS THE WORST. THEY PURPOSEFULLY WASTED A WHOLE FIVE MINUTES OF MY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Yanngc33

I bought this today (before the review). It's not very good.

Posted by Hoffer

This DLC gives season passes a bad name. I know in the future I'll wait until the first DLC comes out before I decide to buy a season pass for a game. $7 for 8 new activities is craptacular. Activities is my least favorite part of Saints Row. Can't believe I paid for more of it.

Posted by Blubba

I agree with Jeff, I thought this was a pretty underwhelming piece of DLC.

Posted by MayorFeedback

Played through it last night and had an okay time with it. As part of the Season Pass, it's fun enough, but charging $7 for this thing standalone is nuts.

Posted by Anathem

The season pass for this game is ridiculous. $20 up front rather than $21 seperately. Oh, you get that Nyteblade stuff, but... really?

Posted by m2cks

Wanna know what the worst part of this is?

I'll probably end up buying it anyway just so I can keep my S-Rank intact ._.

Posted by jaks

The DLC for SR2 was overpriced and god awful as well. I hope Volition gets the hang of it soon because I want to support them with my dollars (and I did buy Genki Bowl sight-unseen even though I didn't care for the reality climax in the main game), but I will be waiting on reviews for the next ones.

Posted by Nes

I'm one of the few people who like the DLC. Sad Panda Skyblazing, definitely worth it. Strap it on.

Edited by onan

I preordered via the THQ website so they gave me the Season Pass for free. They probably should have done that for everyone who preordered. The Nyteblade car, bike, and cannoness outfit were pretty great preorders, especially for getting around in the beginning of the game. This Genki thing... I don't know what this is. Seems lame, but most of the side activities seemed pretty lame.

Posted by HonoredSamurai

Jeff's absolutely right. As a Season Pass holder, so far I feel screwed. Bad THQ, BAD!

Posted by Detrian

THQ wants you to pay $7.00 for eight missions and a handful of mostly meaningless unlockables. That's just crazy.  

Would that be THQ or Volition? 
 
Too bad a bunch of people already got suckered out of their money thanks in part to the intense blowjob a lot of game reviewers gave the game.
Posted by wafflez
@Detrian said:

THQ wants you to pay $7.00 for eight missions and a handful of mostly meaningless unlockables. That's just crazy.  

Would that be THQ or Volition?   Too bad a bunch of people already got suckered out of their money thanks in part to the intense blowjob a lot of game reviewers gave the game.
Yes you're right because only extremely biased game reviewers liked the game.  
 
In other news, I guess I'm a game reviewer! 
Online
Posted by blacklab

Figured as much. That's too bad. I hope the Johnny Gat resurrection DLC comes out soon.

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

I thought it was totally awesome, as did my friends. GB's opinions on this game continue to bewilder.

Posted by BisonHero

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

I thought it was totally awesome, as did my friends. GB's opinions on this game continue to bewilder.

You mean GB's opinions on this particular DLC continue to bewilder? Because their opinions on the main game were almost uniformly positive.

Posted by Rolyatkcinmai

@BisonHero said:

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

I thought it was totally awesome, as did my friends. GB's opinions on this game continue to bewilder.

You mean GB's opinions on this particular DLC continue to bewilder? Because their opinions on the main game were almost uniformly positive.

No, across the board. This DLC is waaay better than Jeff gives it credit for here, and Saints Row 3 overall is not quite as good as the guys implied. It's a fantastic game, but all of their GOTY stuff was absolutely ridiculous.

Their opinions have been consistently extreme, even if it's in either direction.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

I just shelled out the money for this and I can't say I regret it. I loved Saints Row The Third, and more of it is always a good thing in my opinion. I will agree with Jeff when it comes to the new jungle theme for the Genki challenge rooms. They're so unintuitively designed, I was pulling my hair out trying to find the exits on time without dying

Posted by EightBitShik

Not only am I hearing this is bad but it also cost me an S-Rank those fuckers!

Posted by mutha3
@Rolyatkcinmai: Yeah, okay, I'm pretty sure you are literally the first person I have seen who had something positive to say about  this DLC on the internet.
 
Your opinion is the bewildering one.
Posted by Hizang

I would say that if your interested in just filling out your veichle list and homie list then you should get it. I also found every mission to be fun, but to be honest I still had other stuff going on so I was able to mix it in with the main game.

Posted by xbob42

@Rolyatkcinmai said:

I thought it was totally awesome, as did my friends. GB's opinions on this game continue to bewilder.

I'm pretty sure putting googly eyes on your fingers does not constitute them as friends.

Posted by Terrents

i was really disappointed as well. i would only recommend this to someone that is starting the game fresh. coming back to this after you beat the game is just boring.

Edited by Rekt_Hed

The content that was there got 5 stars from me, but the length and depth of the content really sours the DLC so I can see why this got 2 stars. Its a real shame that this has happened and hopefully volition will make good on the other DLC coming up.......I'm signed to the season pass so I'm getting it anyway :P

Posted by CJduke

I thought it was fun, but I agree that it was way to short for $7. I was expecting actual missions with a little story and new lines from the boss, not a side mission collection. I definitely won't be buying the next dlc pack on day one.

Posted by Djratchet

@Anathem said:

The season pass for this game is ridiculous. $20 up front rather than $21 seperately. Oh, you get that Nyteblade stuff, but... really?

I think (read: hope) that the next 2 DLC packs will be more substantial, justifying a bigger price, and the season pass. I don't think they will all be $7. In either case, I bought the pass for $15, so I'm saving a bit more to begin with.

Posted by WiqidBritt

this needed a review?

Posted by Czarpyotr

Wish I had read this before I bought it. Huge waste of money on my part...

Posted by 234r2we232

@Detrian said:

Too bad a bunch of people already got suckered out of their money thanks in part to the intense blowjob a lot of game reviewers gave the game.

We're not talking about Skyrim here, bro.

Posted by Trilogy

@sofacitysweetheart said:

@Detrian said:

Too bad a bunch of people already got suckered out of their money thanks in part to the intense blowjob a lot of game reviewers gave the game.

We're not talking about Skyrim here, bro.

No, were talking about crappy dlc that looks to be a waste of money. If we were talking about Skyrim then there wouldn't be a problem.

Bro.

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